Today’s front page Denver Post article highlights the expansion of DaVita’s headquarters operation in downtown Denver. One of two Fortune 500 HQs in the city of Denver (Colorado has 9, of which 5 are in Englewood), DaVita employs about 1,000 people at its headquarters, and plans to nearly double that number by 2025.
Cities with larger numbers of HQs than Denver have been able to build close long-term corporate and civic relationships, such as with United Healthcare, 3M, Target, and General Mills in Minneapolis or Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and Nordstrom’s in Seattle. These corporations often become excellent citizens and local philanthropists, in part because that city is “their home, too.”
The jobs also help sustain a city’s economy, like Denver’s current boom. HQ jobs are well paid, the corporate leaders often become civic leaders, as DaVita’s Kent Thiry has done, the HQs contract often with local high-level business professionals like lawyers, accountants, marketing firms, etc., for a secondary economic impact. Like universities with long-term presences, they can help anchor a city’s downtown.